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Full text of "NightRider"

49

Christian, sometimes in the middle of a discussion, would
rise and tramp the floor with his heavy, booted stride, and
wave his arms, and exclaim, "By God, we got 'em!" And
the other men, each in his way, exhibited the same excite-
ment and the same confidence. Mr. Munn could feel it the
moment he entered their presence. He wondered once or
twice how Captain Todd managed to hold himself aloof from
it when it charged the very atmosphere of the dingy room
above the bank where they met. Once Mr. Christian, stop-
ping in the middle of his stride with a sentence unfinished
and his arm halted in mid-air, turned suddenly on the Cap-
tain as though he had just discovered a rebuke in the older
man's detachment, and inquired, "By God, Captain, don't
you ever get heated up over anything?"

"I reckon I've been known to," the Captain said. "Once
or twice."

"Not by me," Mr. Christian asserted.

The Captain shook his head a little, smiling. " We thought
we had the Yankees licked in 'sixty-two," he remarked, " but
it didn't seem to turn out that way. You better take it easy,
Bill"

"This'll -be different," Mr. Christian affirmed "We got
'em by the short hairs 1"

"Bill," the Captain said soberly, "just because they're pay-
ing three dollars a hundred more'n they paid last year, it
don't mean a thing."

" They just paid me four dollars and a half a hundred for
prime leaf last year "—and Mr. Christian took two plunging
strides—" the bastards!"

" Whatever they pay more'n that now, they're just paying
to bust the Association. They figure they're putting that
money in the bank, Bill." The Captain took out his pipe,
tamped it, and with an excess of rare lighted it. "Every
good price they pay outside the Association they figure will
make somebody inside dissatisfied, wondering if maybe he
hadn't better be outside grabbing his while the grabbing is
good."